Rust College: Empowering the Unique Pathway towards Educational Excellence

Rust College is a historically Black, coeducational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to offer quality programs in business, education, humanities, science and math, and social science to prepare students for leadership and service in a global society.

Facilities Aiding the Peaceful Learning Environment at Rust

Rust College was founded in the year 1866, and is a renowned historic black liberal arts college that is located in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Rust College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Rust College occupies approximately 126 acres of prime real estate that was once the site of the former slave auction grounds of Holly Springs. Some buildings on campus were erected in the mid-1800s, such as Oak View. Oak View, which currently serves as the Frances Hathorne Alumni & Public Relations Center, and other Rust College buildings recently built, such as the Hamilton Science Center, a three-story addition to the McDonald Science Building.

The Administration Building also affectionately known as the “A Building” is a two-story colonial style building, houses the administrative offices. In 1971 an annex was added to the McCoy Building. Shaw Hall houses Special Services and the College Health Center. There is also one handicap-equipped apartment located in this building. The Guest House is an attractive five-bedroom bungalow located on the east side of the campus, currently serving as a guest house. Gross Residence Hall is a three-story building that provides housing for 90 freshman male students, with a comfortable lounge, and an apartment for the Residence Hall Director. Wiff Residence Hall is a three-story building that provides housing for 90 upper-class female honor students. Airliewood (the official residence of the College’s current President, Dr. David L. Beckley and his family) is a Civil War-era mansion and former antebellum slave plantation estate located a few blocks from the Rust College campus.  Built in 1858, Airliewood served as living quarters for General Ulysses Grant during the Civil War, and acquired through the generosity of Kathy and Joe Overstreet.

The student-faculty ratio at Rust College is 18:1, and its most popular majors include: Biology/Biological Sciences, Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching, Business Administration and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences to include Social Work. The retention rate of freshman as indicated by student satisfaction is 60 percent.

Magnificent Personalities of Rust College

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a daughter of slave parents, was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi on July 16, 1862. Ida received her education and early schooling at Shaw University, a school for the newly freed slaves (now Rust College).

Orphaned at the age of 16 following the death of her parents, Ida became a teacher in a segregated public school in Memphis, and a vocal critic of the condition of the only schools in the city for Blacks.

Ida went on to become one of America’s most celebrated African-American journalist and activist in the anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s.

Leslie Burl McLemore, born in Walls, Mississippi on August 17, 1940, he grew up in a modest family where his father was a diligent sharecropper. He began his studies at Rust College in September 1960.

While at Rust College, McLemore continued to be involved in student protests and became actively involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in various activities including voter registration drives. He has also worked in Mississippi for many years as an educator, activist, and higher education administrator.

Financial Support that Reaches Up to the Worthiness for Student’s Career

Post-secondary education requires an extraordinary funding at the undergraduate level or beyond. However, Rust College offers its students financial support in the Federal Pell Grant that provides funds to students pursuing a first undergraduate degree, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG) to Mississippi residents attending a state approved public and nonprofit two-year or four-year eligible colleges and universities. Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG) to Mississippi residents who are first-time attending a state approved public and nonprofit two-year or four-year eligible colleges and universities. Higher Education Legislative Plan (HELP) to qualified students, whose financial need, as demonstrated by federal student aid eligibility, will not be met with gift aid from other sources.

Rust College Aims for the Student to “Enter to Learn, and Depart to Serve”

Rust College is glued to the mission for students as they are charged by the guidance by two major bedrock principles which keep them moving minus to any halt: “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” and its historic motto, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Each principle embodies the college’s main mission of preparing its students for the complexities and demands of a global and sophisticated society through a Liberal Arts Education that is essential for free/liberated/liberal people.

Therefore, Rust College’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies which is ultimately designed to equip future teachers and other professionals by integrating Common Core-aligned subject matter and service learning experiences with the application of a Christian worldview, exploring life vocation, promoting awareness of cultural diversity issues, and studying multiple curricular with emphasis in specific subject areas while fostering a holistic understanding of knowledge.

Universal Career Opportunities over Rust College

Rust College Career Services provides development and matriculation assistance through mock interviews and resume writing preparation, personal graduate school, and career counseling, assessment, advisement, and campus visits to graduate programs. In addition to these activities, Career Services is responsible for facilitating graduate school and career fairs held on campus and year round recruitment events.

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